Even with the job market what it is, there are still candidates out there who will serve you and your guests well, both in the kitchen and in the front of the house. An excellent restaurant staff recruiting plan is the key to good hiring. After all, if you can’t attract a good quantity of applicants for your open positions, hiring good quality employees becomes impossible.

5 Restaurant Staff Recruitment Strategies

Commit to constant recruiting. You’ll never be able to hire the best possible staff if you can’t attract the best possible people to apply at your restaurant. Recruiting is an ongoing process — a year-round job. By limiting your recruiting, you limit the number of qualified candidates to choose from. You may inadvertently eliminate a great hire from consideration — and instead feel forced into hiring a less-than-suitable candidate simply because of a lack of applicants.

Create a win-win staff referral program. Many restaurants already offer a referral program where a current employee can earn a little bonus for referring a new employee who sticks around for a while. Sell the program to your current employees by stressing how having the right people on the team makes everyone’s jobs easier.

Take an active approach to restaurant staff recruiting. We don’t operate in a job market that allows you to sit around and hope the next great hire will come to you. You should always be on the lookout for bright, energetic, and service-oriented people. Carry around special business cards with a message such as “I noticed your commitment to customer service today. Thank you for going the extra mile! If you’re looking for a career change, please contact me.”

Develop a referral program for guests. Your loyal guests want you to succeed, and they can often be a good source for hiring prospects. Guests who are friendly, energetic, and already love your restaurant may be a good fit or know someone who is. Putting up a “Help Wanted” sign isn’t enough – personally talk to your best guests to let them know you’re looking for the right candidates to join your team.

You’ve Recruited and Hired – Now What?

Once you recruit and hire the right employees, train them to excel in both service and sales. The Service & Sales Excellence Waitstaff Training Series is based on Service That Sells!, a restaurant training philosophy developed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Click here to learn more.